There are a lot of trendy quips people say about self care. Things like "self-care isn't selfish," or "almost everything works if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you,"an empty lantern provides no light." Usually, when people use these quotes to talk about self care they're promoting an idea that it's okay to make time to pamper yourself or encouraging you to take long baths and make appointments to get your nails done. I'm not saying you shouldn't do those things if you enjoy them. I'm just saying that long baths, fresh manicures, and splurging for a soda aren't things that you necessarily NEED in order to survive.
True self care has to do with the essential tasks you make yourself do to take care of your real human self that needs sleep, food, comfort, entertainment, and security. Real self care is eating enough vegetables even though they're not your favorite. Real self care is making time to clean the kitchen floor regularly. Real self care is sticking to your budget and going to bed on time. And you deserve that kind of self-care, too.